"May you live in interesting times" is often attributed as a Chinese saying, "curse" or proverb. We are indeed living in interesting times. 2020 was a year for the history books. While it will be months and years before we see this historic year in the proper context of the ages, certain things are much clearer today for collectors. Here is a review of the five most popular items on ModernCoinMart throughout 2020.
The annual bullion American Silver Eagle issue is the bread and butter of numismatic collectors and bullion stackers all over the country. As we know, the obverse features the timeless Adolph Weinman Walking Liberty design. This aspect of the design will remain relatively constant. As we have mentioned previously, collectors have flocked to this issue, which marks the final time John Mercanti's magnificent heraldic eagle reverse design will appear on the series for an entire year. The original Mercanti reverse is set to be replaced in 2021, and thus 2021 will be notable for having two different 2021-dated Silver Eagle designs released by the United States Mint.
During the last few months of 2020, pre-sales for the 2021 type-1 American Silver Eagle featuring the heraldic eagle reverse design proved to be one of the most popular products for ModernCoinMart. In 2021, the Silver Eagle series will feature two different reverse designs. Early issues, like this release, will bear the heraldic eagle reverse design, while in the middle of the year, the series will transition to a new reverse design created by Emily Damstra.
At this stage, it is impossible to say if the original, classic John Mercanti reverse or the new, dynamic Emily Damstra design will have the lower mintage. Any number of factors could influence the ultimate mintage numbers of either the "Type I" or "Type 2" reverse. Silver supplies, pandemic concerns, and the economy are on collectors' minds as they decide where to deploy their collecting dollars.
What is clear is that the 2021 releases of both old and new reverse designs will hold an important place in the hearts and holdings of collectors.
Once lauded as the "purest silver bullion coin in the world," the Canadian Silver Maple remains relatively popular with collectors. This iconic entry into the series is destined to be a classic. Silver Maples came on the scene in 1988 and quickly became a staple of numismatics. The obverse has featured portraits of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, while the reverse features the iconic Canadian Silver Maple Leaf design.
The 2020 Silver Maple features micro engraved fields, a micro-engraved Maple Leaf Privy and the Royal Canadian Mint's "Bullion DNA" security feature. 2020 also saw the traditional inclusion of the RCM's Mintshield, their solution for the long-standing and well-known "milk spot" problem with some Silver Maples.
Overall, the 2020 Silver Maple was, and is, an excellent choice for collectors who prefer some global diversity in their stacks and collections.
Goldbacks are an innovation brought about by recent legislation in some states. For those unfamiliar with the series, Goldbacks are a circulating, gold-based, voluntary local currency. They are selectively accepted in Nevada, Utah, and New Hampshire by individual businesses, but are generally novel ways to add gold to your collection.
In the case of the "1 Goldback," 1/1000 of an ounce of .999 pure gold is sprayed on a plastic film called Aurum. The 1 Utah Goldback Aurum note features an inspiring design featuring Prudence, a symbolic representation of reason, discipline, and self-governance.
These beautiful notes can be a novel and exciting approach to owning intricate, symbolic designs rendered in fractional gold.
The Highland Mint has been a stalwart producer of "generic" silver products in addition to some very popular licensed fare since the 1980s. Their 1 oz. .999 fine silver bar featuring the timeless Morgan Dollar obverse design from the iconic U.S. silver dollar was one of the most popular items on ModernCoinMart in 2020. Sometimes, it seems the classics never go out of style.
Stay tuned in 2021. There will likely be ups and downs and surprises in the headlines at every turn. ModernCoinMart is proud to be your partner of choice as we stack and collect in these interesting times